TOKYO – True or false? That's the puzzling question economists are trying to answer about the uneven recovery now under way in Japan. They've been fooled before and, so far, the evidence is confusing. The apparent return to better times, after 12 years of economic doldrums that followed the bursting of the speculative land and stock "bubble," is being driven by exports, primarily automobiles, machinery and steel. Still relatively immune and untouched are smaller companies and retailers ...

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